Research School for Economic and Social History


23 - 24 June 2022
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (Erasmus University Rotterdam); please note that this event may be live, online or hybrid, dependent on covid measures

Expert Meeting Sport, Migration, Citizenship, ‘Race’ and National Identity: Towards a new research agenda

~ Please note that this event has been postponed from its original dates in February to 23-24 June 2022 ~

On 23 and 24 June 2022, the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (Erasmus University Rotterdam) organises an Expert Meeting ‘Sport, Migration, Citizenship, ‘Race’ and National Identity: Towards a new research agenda’. This meeting is supported by the Research Network ‘Routes and Roots in Colonial and Global History’ of the N.W. Posthumus Institute, the Sport and Nation network and the Football and Race network.

Sport and Nation

In the international sports arena, the legal guidelines and the moral justifications for citizenship and national belonging are stretched. By taking high profile examples from international sports events, the Sport and Nations network seeks to unveil the complexities behind the question: who may represent the nation? While the presence of foreign-born athletes in national football teams and the Olympics has a long history, it is often believed that the World Cup and the IOC have become more migratory over time. The presumed increases in the volume and diversity of foreign-born athletes and footballers have, however, remained empirically untested. In this research, it is empirically tested whether the presence of athletes at the World Cup and IOC has increased over time.

The aim of this meeting is threefold:

  1. To present the major research-results of the Sport and Nation network of the last five years.
  2. To present some of the major results from football and race scholars and the Football and race network
  3. To look for opportunities to move on in this research arena

Football and race

During the EURO 2020 some national teams have been kneeling to protest against racism in football and to show support to the Black Lives Matter movement, reminding us of the urgency to address issues of racism in sport. Given the racial, ethnic and national diversity of football players in men’s and, to a lesser extent, women’s football, together with its large audiences, it is important to provide more insights into how football contributes to meaning making processes related to race and ethnicity. Existing research has shown, for instance, that football commentators sometimes use racial/ethnic stereotypes when describing or talking about football players. In so doing, they reproduce larger societal discourses about race/ethnicity that sustain racial inequality. The ‘football and race network’ at Erasmus University is exploring the (re)production of discourses surrounding race and ethnicity within football, with a specific focus on the role of media and leadership and coaching, within a European perspective in particular. They do so from a critical perspective. Findings need to be placed in a wider academic and societal debate on race, popular culture and multi-ethnic society.


The full programme can be found online via this link.

How to register

The organisers invite respected and outstanding scholars to discuss the state of the art of sport and social sciences/humanities studies and look at the future. Registration is possible via the conference website.

Conference website